Posts Tagged ‘ADHD’

Managing ADHD during pregnancy

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

According to the CDC, approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although the condition is usually diagnosed in children, ADHD can continue to affect individuals into adulthood. People with ADHD often have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or may be overly active.

Non-medical treatments

There are non-medical treatment options for ADHD. Talk to your provider to find out whether they may be helpful for you during pregnancy. Non-medical treatment options can be used in addition to medication or instead of medication. They can include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on how to change unwanted thoughts and behaviors. If you have ADHD ADHD, cognitive-behavioral therapy can help with time management, organization, and planning.
  • Coaching: Coaching focuses on helping people with ADHD overcome common challenges such as planning, time management, goal setting, organization, and problem-solving. A coach can help you to set goals, develop a plan of action to achieve those goals, and to overcome any obstacles that may get in the way. Coaches can be used in addition to medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Medications

If you are taking medication to manage your ADHD and are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it is important to talk to your health care provider. Your provider can tell you if a prescription medicine is safe to take during pregnancy. She may want you to stop taking a medicine or switch to one that’s safer for you and your baby. Together you can weigh the risks and benefits of continuing to use your ADHD medication during pregnancy.

You can also reach out to MotherToBaby for information about specific medications and how they may affect pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Have questions? Text or email us at Askus@marchofdimes.org.

Prematurity, learning disabilities, and ADHD

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

birth announcementPremature birth is a leading cause of lasting childhood disabilities. October is Learning Disabilities and ADHD Awareness Month – a good time to become familiar with the effect prematurity can have on learning and behavior.

Of course, many babies who are born prematurely do very well. We hear stories of preemies who had a rough start in life, spent days, weeks or even months in the NICU and years later have no serious issues to report. But, some preemies will have long-term challenges with learning or behavior.

LD and ADHD

Learning disabilities (LDs) are persistent difficulties in reading, writing and/or math skills. They are not the same as learning differences. In order to help your child with learning struggles, it is important to first understand what LDs are and are not.

Kids with LD see the world in a slightly different way. Check out this post which describes a great resource from Understood.org to give you insight into your child’s world.

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors or be overly active.

What are the numbers?

  • Globally, 5 million babies are born too soon every year.
  • Babies born prematurely are more likely than babies born full term to have learning and behavior problems throughout childhood. About 1 in 3 children born prematurely need special school services at some point during their school years. Learning problems may not appear until elementary or even middle school.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. has learning and attention issues. “Approximately 2.5 million students in the U.S. are identified as having a specific learning disability—such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia—and as many as 6 million students are identified as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”
  • The CDC reports that in 2012 more than 5 million children aged 3–17 had ADHD (10%). Boys (14%) were almost three times as likely as girls (5%) to have ADHD.

Resources to explore

If your child struggles with learning or behavior, where should you go for reliable information?

  •  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers articles for parents to better understand ADHD.
  • Parent Training and Resource Centers, available in every state, offer information and support to families. Find your center.
  • The Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) has hundreds of easy-to-read articles on disabilities, special education and the law – including how to obtain school services for your child.
  • The Understood website provides a wealth of information and support to individuals and parents of children with learning and attention issues.
  • The State of Learning Disabilities, 3rd Edition, 2014, is a downloadable review of LD. It is available on the National Center for Learning Disabilities website where along with the statistics on LD, it describes public attitudes towards people with LD, characteristics of kids with LD, employment issues, and lots of other information.

Students with LD and/or ADHD may face challenges, but they also have strengths and may possess outstanding abilities in certain areas. Understanding your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and focusing on proven educational methods and therapies will help your child be as successful as possible.

Bottom line

Babies born prematurely are more likely than babies born full term to have learning and behavior problems. But help is available. Check out our table of contents for more information.

And if you have any questions, email or text AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

 

Acetaminophen and pregnancy

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

You may have heard about a recent study of pregnant women who used pain relievers with acetaminophen (like Tylenol®) and the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their children. Lots of women take acetaminophen during pregnancy to relieve pain.

Before you get alarmed, it’s important to note that the study researchers didn’t find that acetaminophen actually caused ADHD.  More research needs to be done to understand the issue. In the meantime, talk to your health care provider if you have any questions about using acetaminophen in pregnancy. And always check with your health care provider before taking any medicine while pregnant.

Local veggies in season – CSAs

Friday, July 15th, 2011

fresh-carrotsHave you ever thought about participating in consumer sustainable agriculture, joining a CSA?  Over the last 20 years, CSAs have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics, according to LocalHarvest. “A farmer offers a certain number of ‘shares’ to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a ‘membership’ or a ‘subscription’) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”

Most CSAs produce organic, pesticide-free fruits and veggies. The fewer pesticides we and our children consume, the better.  Pesticides and babies don’t mix. A study published last year implies that exposure to organophosphates, at levels common among U.S. children, may contribute to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

You might want to explore your options for finding organic, seasonal foods near you.  LocalHarvest claims to have the most comprehensive directory of CSA farms in the U.S., with over 4,000 listed in their grassroots database. If you’d like to look for one near you, click here.

ADHD and pesticides in food

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

strawberriesChildren exposed to certain pesticides are at increased risk of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This was the finding of a  new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. More research is needed to confirm this finding. But meanwhile, you can take steps to reduce your children’s exposure to pesticides.

Diet is a major source of pesticide exposure for children. For instance, celery, frozen blueberries and strawberries can contain pesticides.

To protect your children, wash all fruits and vegetables with water. Use only produce that is in season. If you can, avoid fruits and vegetables that have been treated with pesticides.

For more, read the March of Dimes article on pesticides.